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Chevrolet Equinox Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 3rd generation 2018 to 2022 GM Chevy Equinox with the part numbers.

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2018 Equinox Rear Wheel
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2018, 2019 and probably also the refreshed or revised 2020, 2021 and 2022 model years) GM Chevrolet Equinox SUV in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Trax, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Cascada, LaCrosse, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CTS, XTS, CT6, Astra, Commodore and Trailblazer may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new rear brake pads with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco 171-1170, Centric 105.18570, StopTech 308.18570 and Callahan CPK01179.

The tools and other items required to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 13mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a 17mm wrench, a disc brake piston tool or a pair of needle nose pliers (to turn back the "screw-in" type rear caliper pistons) and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the SUV on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Make sure that the emergency / parking brake is NOT engaged. If the parking brake is engaged, you will not be able to pull the rear caliper off the old brake pads.

Attention - If your Equinox is equipped with an electronic parking brake (or "EPB") you may need to use an OBDII scan tool (also known as an OBD2 scanner) that is specifically capable of placing the the EPB into "service" or "maintenance" mode.

Another option is to remove the EPB assembly from the rear caliper, manually turn back the ball screw actuator rod and compress the caliper piston with an "F" clamp.

For more information on this procedure, please take a look at my GM EPB Manual Retraction Guide.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Carefully raise the rear of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Please do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle!



 

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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
I prefer to only work on one side of the car at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction.

Set the lug nuts aside in safe place.

Carefully remove the rear wheel and set it aside. Some home mechanics choose to place the wheel and tire below the frame rail of the vehicle just in case both the floor jack and the jack stands happen to fail.

Once the rear wheel has been removed, you'll be able to see the rotor, bracket, pads and suspension.

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Rear Brake Caliper
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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts that are located on the back side of the caliper.

The two bolt heads face in towards the cargo area of the SUV.

Loosen the caliper bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

If the caliper slider pins turn as you are attempting to loosen the caliper bolts, hold them in place with a standard 17mm open ended wrench.

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Spin Out Top Caliper Bolt
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Remove Bottom Bolt
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Two Caliper Bolts
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Lift Caliper Out of Bracket
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully lift the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Rest the caliper on the rotor or suspension. You could also suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or some rope.

Remove the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar is situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2018 Equinox, the wear indicator bar was located at the top of the inner brake pad.

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Pad Abutment Clips
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Replace Abutment Clips
If your new set of rear brake pads includes a bag of replacement hardware, pull the old pad abutment clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Clean off the rotor, bracket, caliper and lug studs with brake parts cleaner spray.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the parts of the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the bracket or the ends ("ears") of the new brake pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket.

Make sure that the new clips are fully seated in place.

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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Disc Brake Piston Tool
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the two caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots attached to the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the smooth parts of each pin before pushing them back into place.

Rotate the two pins around a few times and push them in and out to help spread the grease.

Attention - If your Equinox is equipped with an electronic parking brake (or "EPB") you may need to use an OBDII scan tool (also known as an OBD2 scanner) that is specifically capable of placing the the EPB into "service" or "maintenance" mode.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Please refer to my GM EPB Manual Retraction Guide if you'd like to attempt that method.

I've read that the EPB system on newer GM vehicles (Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick) are simple electric motors that pull a traditional parking brake cable that are similar to the manually operated emergency / parking brakes of previous generations. So placing the EPB in "service" or "maintenance" mode should not be necessary for just replacing the rear brake pads.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

If you would like to try placing the EPB into "service" or "maintenance" mode as specified in a GM service manual without having to use an OBD2 scanner, here is the step-by-step procedure as detailed on a Buick Regal forum.

1. Turn the ignition switch to the "OFF"
2. Move the automatic transmission's gear selector to "Park"
3. Press and hold the brakes throughout the entire process.
4. Press and hold the EPB switch down in the "RELEASE" position for about 5 seconds.
5.The "Park Brake" lamp should flash on the gauge cluster.
6. Release the EPB switch and immediately push the switch down again to the "RELEASE" position and then let go of it.
7. Let go of the brake pedal.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

If you need to manually turn back the EPB, you may be able to do it by removing the rubber plug on the back of the EPB and rotating back the square drive with a ratchet. The forum post suggests that the drive would be rotated in the clockwise direction to retract the piston back into the caliper. It may take up to 50 turns to manually retract the piston. Be sure to watch which direction the piston is traveling to make sure you don't rotate it out to where it falls out of the caliper.

To exit the EPB service mode, just apply and release the EPB a few times.

The Equinox is equipped with "screw-in" type rear caliper pistons that need to be rotated to retract them back into the caliper housing.

(Do not attempt to use an "F" clamp to push them back as you would for the standard pistons on the front calipers.)

I attempted to use my Lisle 28600 disc brake piston tool but it didn't seem to have a side that had a good grip on the piston.

If you have a disc brake piston tool set, you may be able to successfully turn back the piston.

You could also instead use a pair of needle nose pliers.

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Turn Back Screw-In Piston
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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
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Install New Brake Pads
Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Slowly turn back the caliper piston in the clockwise direction until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot that surrounds it.

If you encounter any resistance, stop and consultant with your dealership or a certified GM technician.

Avoid forcing the piston in to prevent from damaging the EPB (electric parking brake) or the caliper.

Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir (at the right rear area of the engine bay) to make sure that it doesn't overflow.

Install the new brake pads into the bracket.

The wear indicator bar should be situated at the top of the inner brake pad.



 

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Into Bracket
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Line Up Bolt Holes
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new brake pads and into the bracket.

Try to avoid bending, kinking, stressing or pulling on the rubber brake fluid hose.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the caliper slider pins attached to the bracket.

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Spin In Bottom Bolt
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Replace Top Bolt
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Hold Pin With Wrench
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the two bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the service manual specification of 20 lb-ft of torque.

If the caliper slider pin turns as you are attempting to tighten the caliper bolts, hold it in place with a 17mm wrench.

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Tighten Top Caliper Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.
 

If your Equinox has been exhibiting vibrations or shuddering in the rear end during braking, you may need to replace the rear rotors.

A few compatible replacement rear brake rotors with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco 177-1179, Centric 120.62145 and Raybestos 581999FZN.

To replace the rotors, remove the Torx T30 set screw on the outer face of the old rotor, remove the two bolts on the back side of the bracket and pull off the bracket.

Slide the old rotor off the wheel hub and slide on the new rotor. If you have trouble removing the old rotor, hit it a few times with a rubber mallet.

Replace the set screw and the bracket. The service manual torque specification for the rear T30 rotor set screw is 89 lb-in.

On most modern GM vehicles, the bracket bolts are "TTY" (Torque-To-Yield) bolts that should not be re-used.

Consult your dealership to buy new bracket bolts.

Tighten the bracket bolts to the service manual specification of 74 lb-ft of torque plus 60 degrees.

An optional step is to apply some Loctite medium removable threadlocking adhesive to the bracket bolts.

Note - The brake fastener torque specifications were obtained from the service manuals for the Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu. All of these other GM vehicles share the same caliper and bracket part numbers as the Chevrolet Equinox. Please verify these torque specifications for your vehicle.


If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or "mushy", the brake lines might contain a few air bubbles or moisture. It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located on the back side of the caliper just below the top bolt. It is covered by a rubber valve cap. To open or close the valve, you will need a 10mm wrench.

For more on this topic, check out my Acura MDX Brake Fluid Bleeding Guide.

I prefer to use an Allstar Bleeder Bottle since it makes bleeding brake lines an easy one person job.

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Replace Rear Wheel
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Push the rear wheel back into place over the lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron in a criss-cross or "star" pattern.

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Lower From Jack Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Rear Brake Job Complete
Carefully lower the SUV from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a criss-cross or star pattern to just past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the owner's manual specification of 100 lb-ft of torque.

Please double check your owner's manual for the correct lug nut torque specification for your vehicle.

Check the level in the brake fluid reservoir bottle. If necessary, slowly pour in some new DOT 3 fluid until it reaches the "MAX" (maximum) line.

It would also be a good idea to check your parking spot, driveway or garage for any drops of fresh brake fluid which might indicate a leak from the bleeder valve or the reservoir.

Be sure to write down the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2018-2022 GM Chevrolet Equinox DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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